Planet Creative Commons

This page aggregates blogs from Creative Commons, CC jurisdiction projects, and the CC community. Opinions are those of individual bloggers.

Ethereum – Art Is…

Rob Myers, July 24, 2014 05:07 AM   License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Here is a contract that allows anyone to define what art is. It contains a single set of twelve statements about art. They are encoded as hexadecimal values which are interpreted as sentences in a simple subset of International Art English and displayed by the UI.

 ;; Constant values
 ;; Price base (wei), doubled for each definition up to DEFS-COUNT
 (def 'PRICE-BASE 10)
 ;; Add to the index to get the price base exponent
 ;; Number of definitions
 (def 'DEFS-COUNT 12)
 ;; Range of values for definitions
 (def 'DEF-MIN 0x1)
 (def 'DEF-MAX 0x0F0F0F0F)

 ;; Storage locations
 (def 'artist 0x10)
 (def 'defs-base 0x100)
 (def 'theorists-base 0x200)

 ;; State
 ;; Contract owner/payee
 [[artist]] (caller)

     [action] (calldataload 0)
      (when (= @action "set")
         [index] (calldataload 32)
         [definition] (calldataload 64)
         [price] (exp PRICE-BASE (+ @index 1 PRICE-FACTOR-ADD))
         ;; If the index is in range and the caller paid enough to set it
         (when (&& (>= @definition DEF-MIN)
                   (<= @definition DEF-MAX)
                   (< @index DEFS-COUNT)
                   (= (callvalue) @price))
            ;; Update definition
            [[(+ defs-base @index)]] @definition
            [[(+ theorists-base @index)]] (caller)
            (- (gas) 100) @@artist @price 0 0 0 0

The contract is in lll rather than Serpent this time.

Here’s what the UI looks like.
And here’s what it looks like when a statement is being edited.
The contract allows the statements to be edited but it costs progressively more to do so: the first costs 10 Wei, the third costs 1000 and so on. This ensures that art theorists place a value on their definition, thereby indicating how confident in and/or serious about their definition they are. The higher the value, the less likely it is to be changed by someone else. This combines art theory with behavioral economics.

Michael Carroll: “Los derechos de autor deben expirar”

CC Chile, July 23, 2014 05:30 PM   License: Atribución-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 2.0 Chile

christopher dombres

Imagen CC por Cristopher Dombres.

Esta semana, Michael Carroll, fundador y miembro del directorio de Creative Commons, habló frente al Subcomité de Tribunales, propiedad Intelectual e Internet de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos, para argumentar contra una nueva extensión de los plazos de protección de copyright.

“Desde una perspectiva económica, promover el progreso de la ciencia significa proporcionar un incentivo adecuado para que tanto el creador como los inversores en el proceso creativo obtengan una retribución razonable de su inversión. La vida del autor más 70 años es mucho más de lo necesario para alcanzar ese objetivo”, explicó.

Carroll pidió al Congreso de estadounidense volver al modo en que funcionaba la ley hasta 1978, que otorgaba a los creadores un plazo de protección inicial de 28 años y una opción de optar por un segundo período de 28 años.

Recordemos que el plazo de protección de derecho de autor en Estados Unidos es de 70 años tras la muerte del creador y ha habido presión de los grandes grupos económicos por expandirlo todavía más. Países como Chile se han visto obligados a aumentar sus plazos de protección, como resultado de las negociaciones de acuerdos de libre comercio con Estados Unidos.

Una propuesta de extensión de plazos de protección se encuentra también en los borradores del Acuerdo Transpacífico, un tratado de libre comercio multinacional liderado por Estados Unidos más once países, entre los que se encuentra Chile. Frente a esta posibilidad, Creative Commons, junto a otras importantes organizaciones como la Fundación Wikimedia e Internet Archive, enviaron una carta a los ministros y negociadores del TPP, explicando por qué una extensión de los plazos de protección de derecho de autor sería perjudicial.

“Las leyes de derecho de autor deben encontrar un equilibrio entre el incentivo a crear y, al mismo tiempo, permitir que el público use y construya a partir de esa creatividad”, explicaron a propósito de la misiva.

Más información aquí, aquí, acá y acá.

REDESIGN ME—線上共同創作和共同設計

CC Taiwan, July 23, 2014 01:57 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

原作 / Maxim Schram


舉例來說,荷蘭茶製造商Pickwick使用線上設計和概念社群RedesignMe.com與身為外部設計師、經銷商、消費者的觀眾互動,目標是聚集持股人的投入並引導使用者創新茶產品。他們對於一個將近3500人的社群提出挑戰 : 「創造創新、符合Pickwick的品牌價值之茶概念」。[註 : 現在redesignme.com已改成CMNTY Corporation]


Ethereum – This Contract Is Art

Rob Myers, July 23, 2014 12:58 AM   License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Here is a contract that can assert that it is art.

init:[1000] = "may be"

    if[0] == "toggle":
        if[1000] == "is":
  [1000] = "is not"
  [1000] = "is"

It toggles its status as art when sent a message instructing it to do so.

Here’s what the UI for the contract looks like:


Here it is while the artistic state of the contract is being toggled:


And here it is after being toggled:
Anyone can change the contract from not being art to being art (and vice versa). We’ll look at a more advanced contract that uses behavioural economics to address this next.

“Why Open?” course now open for sign-up

Creative Commons, July 22, 2014 10:04 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You'll Miss It!
Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You’ll Miss It! / Pete / CC BY

Another run of School of Open courses is starting up in August, September and October! The first course to kick things off is a second iteration of “Why Open?” “Why Open?” was collaboratively developed and facilitated one year ago in August 2013; now the facilitators are back to run it a second time from 10 August to 5 September 2014. What is “Why Open?” From its About page,

Why Open? What does open mean? Does it mean free? Does it mean without restriction? What is the role of the producer? What is the role of the consumer? Why is open important? How does open relate to you and your area of expertise?

In this course, we will discuss and answer these questions. With your help, we will explore the different meanings of open in various contexts as well as its benefits and issues. Participants will use open practices to complete a series of open activities that builds into a final project.

Facilitators include Christina Hendricks (Philosophy lecturer at the University of British Columbia), Simeon Oriko (School of Open Kenya Initiative), Jeanette Lee (English lit and writing teacher), and myself.

Read more about the course over at the School of Open blog.

Sign-up is open now through 10 August; to join, simply click the ‘Start Course’ button on the lower left of the course page.

EU commission to member states: Use Open Definition compliant licenses for your Public Sector Information

Communia Association, July 22, 2014 03:58 PM   License: CC0 1.0 Universal

Last week the European Commision published Guidelines on recommended standard licences, datasets and charging for the re-use of documents. These Guidelines are intended to help member states with the implementation of the amended Public Sector Information directive that was adopted last year. With these guidelines the Commission hopes to provide ‘reference material for all institutions in all EU countries, in order to align their practices and make them more transparent and predictable for potential re-users’.

The guidelines put a lot of emphasis on the legal aspects of PSI. As part of this the Commission highlights the fact that not all documents need to be licensed, especially those that are in the Public Domain:

A simple notice (e.g. the Creative Commons public domain mark) clearly indicating legal status is specifically recommended for documents in the public domain (e.g. where IPR protection has expired or in jurisdictions where official documents are exempt from copyright protection by law).

In addition to this important clarification the Commission also provides clear recommendations for the use of open licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions. If the CC0 public domain dedication cannot be used, public sector bodies are encouraged to use open standard licences appropriate to a member state’s own national intellectual property and contract law and that comply with the recommended licensing provisions set out below.

This recommendation for the use of Open Definition compliant licenses and tools shows that the Commission has clearly understood concerns about license fragmentation that COMMUNIA and others had raised during during the legislative process that lead to the amendment of the PSI directive. In our 2012 policy paper on the proposal to amend the PSI Directive we had noted:

Instead of encouraging member states to develop and use open government licenses such as those that are currently used by the governments of the United Kingdom and France, the Commission should consider advocating the use of a single open license that can be applied across the entire European Union.

Such licenses do exist and are widely used by a broad spectrum of data and content providers. [...] COMMUNIA therefore advises the Commission to consider using an existing open license that complies with the Definition of Free Cultural Works as a pan European standard license for Public Sector Information. Appropriate licenses include the Creative Commons Zero Universal Public Domain Dedication (CC0) or the widely used Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

Lets hope that member states and public sector bodies will follow these recommendations and that the trend towards license fragmentation that accompanied the beginning of the open data movement has abated. In this respect it is encouraging that the list of Open Definition conformant licenses is still relatively short and only contains two licenses that have been developed specifically for a national government.

Why the Open Internet Matters for Creative Commons Users and the Public

CC USA, July 21, 2014 07:20 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 United States

nn300x200Last week, CCUSA submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission on Net Neutrality.  The full comments, by Michael Carroll and Meredith Jacob, are available here as a PDF.

Creative Commons users in the United States deserve to have the content they create be available over the Internet on the same basis and at the same data rates as content owned or controlled by large commercial interests with the ability to negotiate special terms of Internet access. While CC licenses are used by many large organizations (see ), many creators of CC-licensed material are small or independent creators, or are creators producing content as part of a non-profit or publicly funded project. One of the specific benefits of CC licenses is that they allow individual creators to remove copyright barriers to the greatest possible public dissemination of their work.

A level playing field, in the form of net neutrality and a free and open Internet is essential to further this goal.

Wattpad upgrades to Version 4.0 of CC licenses

Creative Commons, July 21, 2014 03:23 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Fiction-writing community Wattpad has upgraded to the Creative Commons Version 4.0 licenses and unveiled several improvements to its CC implementation. As of today, there are 300,000 CC-licensed stories on Wattpad, making this one of the largest adoptions of Version 4.0 to date.

From the press release: (72 KB PDF)

“The biggest question facing new writers today isn’t how to protect their work; it’s how to find a readership for it, said Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger. “It makes complete sense that so many Wattpad writers are gravitating toward Creative Commons licenses: by giving others permission to share your writing, you can open doors to new audiences and new creative opportunities.” Cory Doctorow has shared five stories on Wattpad under CC licenses, including New York Times best-selling novels Homeland and Little Brother. Today, to coincide with the roll out of CC 4.0, he will share his first novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom on Wattpad.

“All knowledge and culture owes something to what came before it – it’s this public commons of ideas that forms the foundation of our society,” said Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley. “I’m excited that the Wattpad community will have Creative Commons’ simple, free tools to share their work, to re-use the works of others, and to contribute to the global creative community.”

Read the full press release and find more information in Wattpad’s announcement. Congratulations to Wattpad and its community of 30 million writers and readers!

Publieke Consultatie Vertaling 4.0 Licenties

CC Netherlands, July 21, 2014 03:21 PM   License: Naamsvermelding 3.0 Nederland

Eind vorig jaar heeft Creative Commons de nieuwste versie van zijn licenties gelanceerd. Deze licenties zijn het resultaat van een intensieve publieke consultatie die vanaf 2011 liep. Na de lancering van de licenties zijn Creative Commons Nederland en Creative Commons België begonnen deze licenties Linguïstische te vertalen naar het Nederlands. Voordat deze vertalingen officieel erkend kunnen worden vragen wij in een publieke consultatie om feedback.


Deze feedback is essentieel voor de nieuwe versie van de Creative Commons-licenties. Het is nadrukkelijk de bedoeling om licenties aan te bieden die iedereen kan lezen en begrijpen. Daar hebben we input voor nodig van mensen die de licenties gebruiken. Dit is hèt moment om onduidelijkheden aan te stippen! Door goede leesbare Nederlandse vertalingen kan Creative Commons meer mensen bereiken.

De publieke consultatie zal lopen vanaf maandag 21 juli 2014 tot 1 september 2014. Tijdens en na deze periode zullen we reageren op alle feedback en opmerkingen. Hierna bereiden wij een definitief voorstel voor dat Creative Commons Nederland en Creative Commons België gezamenlijk naar Creative Commons International zal sturen, waar het nog een laatste keer bekeken wordt voordat de vertaling officieel wordt.


Meedoen is makkelijk. Bekijk de conceptvertalingen en geef aan wat je ervan vindt. Als je feedback wilt geven op de conceptvertalingen of als je niet precies weet hoe Google Docs werkt dan kan je deze handleiding volgen.

Mocht je vragen hebben over de manier waarop je kunt helpen, of een algemene vraag hebt over de 4.0 licenties – stuur een mail naar

Przegląd linków CC #141

CC Poland, July 21, 2014 07:14 AM   License: Uznanie autorstwa 2.5 Polska

Otwarta edukacja i kultura

1. E-podręcznikom (nie tylko otwartym) poświęcone były dwie ostatnie audycje Człowiek 2.0 w radiu TokFM (do odsłuchania w archiwum).

2. Projekt OER Policy opublikował raport na temat wyłączeń i wyjątków edukacyjnych w prawie autorskim w Europie. Raport aut. Teresy Nobre, prawniczki Creative Commons Portugalia opisuje zróżnicowane problemy i brak kompatybilności między 49 krajami UE w zakresie tego jak prawo autorskie reguluje i ogranicza pracę nauczycieli i autorów edukacyjnych.
OER Policy copyright exemptions report

3. Kontynuując wątek z ostatnich tygodni na temat polityk i modeli wdrażania otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych na skalę masową warto zajrzeć na blog Open Content. David Wiley pisze o konieczności otwierania również infrastruktury, z której korzysta się do hostowania, dostarczania i prezentowania otwartych zasobów.

4. Kalifornijski start-up zebrał 2 mln. dolarów od inwestorów na rozwój katalogu i serwisu rekomendującego otwarte zasoby edukacyjne.

5. Fundacja Hewlettów, od lat wspierająca ruch i projekty otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych na całym świecie ogłosiła swój kolejny krok w tym kierunku, jest to wymóg dla wszystkich grantobiorców programu edukacyjnego używania licencji Creative Commons 4.0.

6. The Open Education Challenge, konkurs dla edukacyjnych start-upów zorganizowany przez Komisję Europejską wyłonił dziewięć zwycięskich projektów, z których każdy otrzyma 20 000 euro oraz wsparcie w fazie początkowej.

7. W artykule naukowym OER adoption: a continuum for practice, Adrian Stagg z Uniwersytetu w Queensland (Australia) przedstawia ważną koncepcję stałego rozwoju i praktycznego wdrażania otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych przez praktyków jako odmiennego procesu od powszechnie dyskutowanej aktualnie adopcji (bardziej pasywnego wdrażania OZE).

Otwarta nauka

8. Pięć lat od uruchomienia repozytorium instytucjonalnego na Uniwersytecie Harvarda posiada ono ponad 20 000 publikacji i doliczyło się już blisko 3,5 miliona pobrań recenzowanych publikacji.

9. Jeśli chcecie dowiedzieć się więcej o tym czym jest i jak jest rozumiana otwarta nauka to polecamy wpis i dane z badań Benedikta Fecher’a i Saschy Friesike na blogu London School of Economics. Autorzy analizując literaturę na temat otwartej nauki wyróżniają jej elementy edukacyjne, efektywności naukowej i polityczne.

10. Projekt Open Access Button, który chce mapować zamknięte artykuły naukowe i ich alternatywne miejsca, gdzie są dostępne w otwartym modelu ogłosił współpracę z Cottage Labs, które mają duże doświadczenie w informatycznym wsparciu ot wartościowych projektów + OA Button na swoim blogu również prowadzi przegląd linków!

11. GitHub jako narzędzie dla naukowców? Nie tylko tych programujących ale również piszących zespołowo artykuły, więcej na blogu Zenf.

12. Double – blind peer review (obustronnie anonimowa recenzja), a proces eliminowania nierówności społecznych w naukach ścisłych na łamach Nature.

Otwarte zasoby

13. Ek Mukta to zestaw otwartych fontów indyjskiego pisma devanagari, które do tej pory nie posiadało niekomercyjnych, dostosowanych do użytkowania w sieci czcionek.

14. Mazawi to mały serwis oferujący świetne, wysokiej rozdzielczości nagrania wideo, profesjonalnie wyprodukowane i do dowolnego wykorzystania (na licencji CC BY).


15. Komisja Europejska opublikowała zestaw rekomendacji i dobrych praktyk na temat ponownego wykorzystania danych sektora publicznego.

Inne ważne wiadomości

16. Jeśli chodzi o elektroniczne książki wydawane przez niezależnie od dużych firm i wydawnictw to te bez zabezpieczeń technicznych (DRM – Digital Rights Management) sprzedają się dwukrotnie lepiej niż tez DRM-ami.


European Commission endorses CC licenses as best practice for public sector content and data

CC Luxembourg, July 21, 2014 05:57 AM   License: Paternité 3.0 Luxembourg

 (from the Creative Commons blog)

Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.

The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).

In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.

This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.

Kudos to the Commission and the assistance provided by LAPSI, Open Knowledge, and others.



CC Japan, July 20, 2014 09:58 AM   License: 表示 2.1 日本




第1回:クラス・ディスカッション 文化を支えるインセンティブ制度をどう設計するか?



第2回:講義 著作権基礎1



第3回:講義 著作権基礎2





第5回:クラスディスカッション ライセンス1 コモンズ形成の力学?




第8回:講義 孤児著作物



第9回:クラスディスカッション オープンデータ編 オープン化の功罪




第10回:クラスディスカッション ジャーナリズム編



第11回:クラスディスカッション オープン教育について





Mark Twain on the Need for Perpetual Copyright

James Boyle, July 19, 2014 01:26 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

This is the second in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  The first was Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain The book will be released in late August.

In 1906, Samuel Clemens (who we remember better by his pen name Mark Twain) addressed Congress on the reform of the Copyright Act.  Delicious.

Statement Of Mr. Samuel L. Clemens  before the Committee of Patents of the Senate and House, to discuss amending the Copyright Act (1906)

Mr. Clemens. I have read the bill. At least I have read such portions of it as I could understand; and indeed I think no one but a practiced legislator can read the bill and thoroughly understand it, and I am not a practiced legislator. I have had no practice at all in unraveling confused propositions or bills. Not that this is more confused than any other bill. I suppose they are all confused. It is natural that they should be, in a legal paper of that kind, as I understand it. Nobody can understand a legal paper, merely on account of the language that is in it. It is on account of the language that is in it that no one can understand it except an expert.

Necessarily I am interested particularly and especially in the part of the bill which concerns my trade. I like that bill, and I like that extension from the present limit of copyright life of forty-two years to the author’s life and fifty years after. I think that will satisfy any reasonable author, because it will take care of his children. Let the grandchildren take care of themselves. “Sufficient unto the day.” That would satisfy me very well. That would take care of my daughters, and after that I am not particular. I shall then long have been out of this struggle and independent of it. Indeed, I like the whole bill. It is not objectionable to me. Like all the trades and occupations of the United States, ours is represented and protected in that bill. I like it. I want them to be represented and protected and encouraged. They are all worthy, all important, and if we can take them under our wing by copyright, I would like to see it done. I should like to have you encourage oyster culture and anything else. I have no illiberal feeling toward the bill. I like it. I think it is just. I think it is righteous, and I hope it will pass without reduction or amendment of any kind.

I understand, I am aware, that copyright must have a term, must have a limit, because that is required by the Constitution of the United States, which sets aside the earlier constitution, which we call the Decalogue. The Decalogue says that you shall not take away from any man his property. I do not like to use the harsher term, “Thou shalt not steal.”

But the laws of England and America do take away property from the owner. They select out the people who create the literature of the land. Always talk handsomely about the literature of the land. Always say what a fine, a great monumental thing a great literature is. In the midst of their enthusiasm they turn around and do what they can to crush it, discourage it, and put it out of existence. I know that we must have that limit. But forty-two years is too much of a limit. I do not know why there should be a limit at all. I am quite unable to guess why there should be a limit to the possession of the product of a man’s labor. There is no limit to real estate. As Doctor Hale has just suggested, you might just as well, after you had discovered a coal mine and worked it twenty-eight years, have the Government step in and take it away—under what pretext?

The excuse for a limited copyright in the United States is that an author who has produced a book and has had the benefit of it for that term has had the profit of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes the property, which does not belong to it, and generously gives it to the eighty-eight millions. That is the idea. If it did that, that would be one thing. But it does not do anything of the kind. It merely takes the author’s property, merely takes from his children the bread and profit of that book, and gives the publisher double profit. The publisher, and some of his confederates who are in the conspiracy, rear families in affluence, and they continue the enjoyment of these ill-gotten gains generation after generation. They live forever, the publishers do.

As I say. this limit is quite satisfactory to me—for the author’s life, and fifty years after. In a few weeks, or months, or years I shall be out of it. I hope to get a monument. I hope I shall not be entirely forgotten. I shall subscribe to the monument myself. But I shall not be caring what happens if there is fifty years’ life of my copyright. My copyrights produce to me annually a good deal more money than I have any use for. But those children of mine have use for that. I can take care of myself as long as I live. I know half a dozen trades, and I can invent a half a dozen more. I can get along. But I like the fifty years’ extension, because that benefits my two daughters, who are not as competent to earn a living as I am, because I have carefully raised them as young ladies, who don’t know anything and can’t do anything. So I hope Congress will extend to them that charity which they have failed to get from me.

Why, if a man who is mad —not mad, but merely strenuous—about race suicide should come to me and try to get me to use my large political or ecclesiastical influence for the passage of a bill by this Congress limiting families to 22 children by one mother, I should try to calm him down. I should reason with him. I should say to him, “That is the very parallel to the copyright limitation by statute. Leave it alone. Leave it alone and it will take care of itself.” There is only one couple in the United States that can reach that limit. Now, if they reach that limit let them go on. Make the limit a thousand years. Let them have all the liberty they want. You are not going to hurt anybody in that way. Don’t cripple that family and restrict it to 22 children. In doing so you are merely offering this opportunity for activity to one family per year in a nation of eighty millions. It is not worth the while at all.

The very same with copyright. One author per year produces a book which can outlive the forty-two year limit, and that is all. This nation can not produce two authors per year who can create a book that will outlast forty-two years. The thing is demonstrably impossible. It can not be done. To limit copyright is to take the bread out of the mouths of the children of that one author per year, decade, century in and century out. That is all you get out of limiting copyright.

I made an estimate once when I was to be called before the copyright committee of the House of Lords, as to the output of books, and by my estimate we had issued and published in this country since the Declaration of Independence 220.000 books. What was the use of protecting those books by coypright? They are all gone. They had all perished before they were 10 years old. There is only about one book in a thousand that can outlive forty-two years of copyright. Therefore why put a limit at all? You might just as well limit a family to 22. It will take care of itself. If you try to recall to you minds the number of men in the nineteenth century who wrote books in America which books lived forty-two years you will begin with Fennimore Cooper, follow that with Washington Irving, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edgar A. Poe, and you will not go far until you begin to find that the list is limited.

You come to Whittier and Holmes and Emerson, and you find Howells and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and then the list gets pretty thin and you question if you can find 20 persons in the United States in a whole century who have produced books that could outlive or did outlive the forty-two year limit. You can take all the authors in the United States whose books have outlived the forty-two year limit and you can seat them on one bench there. Allow three children to each of them, and you certainly can put the result down at 100 persons. Add two or three more benches. You have plenty of room left. That is the limit of the insignificant number whose bread and butter are to be taken away. For what purpose?  For what profit to anybody? Nobody can tell what that profit is. It is only those books that will outlast the forty-two-year limit that have any value after ten or fifteen years. The rest are all dead. Then you turn those few books into the hands of the pirate—into the hands of the legitimate publisher—and they go on, and they get the profit that properly should have gone to wife and children. I do not think that is quite right. I told you what the idea was in this country for a limited copyright.

The English idea of copyright, as I found, was different, when I was before the committee of the House of Lords, composed of seven members I should say. The spokesman was a very able man, Lord Thring, a man of great reputation, but he didn’t know anything about copyright and publishing. Naturally he didn’t, because he hadn’t been brought up to this trade. It is only people who have had intimate personal experience with the triumphs and griefs of an occupation who know how to treat it and get what is justly due.

Now that gentleman had no purpose or desire in the world to rob anybody or anything, but this was the proposition—fifty years’ extension—and he asked me what I thought the limit of copyright ought to be.

“Well,” I said, ” perpetuity.” I thought it ought to last forever.

Well, he didn’t like that idea very much. I could see some resentment in his manner, and he went on to say that the idea of a perpetual copyright was illogical, and so forth, and so on. And here was his reason—for the reason that it has long ago been decided that ideas are not property, that there can be no such thing as property in ideas.…That there could be no such thing as property in an intagible idea. He said, “What is a book? A book is just built from base to roof with ideas, and there can be no property in them.”  I said I wished he could mention any kind of property existing on this planet, property that had a pecuniary value, which was not derived from an idea or ideas.

“Well,” he said, ” landed estate—real estate.”

“Why,” I said, “Take an assumed case, of a dozen Englishmen traveling through the South—Africa—they camp out; eleven of them see nothing at all; they are mentally blind. But there is one in the party who knows what that harbor means, what this lay of the land means; to “him it means that some day—you can not tell when—a railway will come through here, and there on that harbor a great city will spring up. That is his idea. And he has another idea, which is to get a trade, and so, perhaps, he sacrifices his last bottle of Scotch whisky and gives a horse blanket to the principal chief of that region and buys a piece of land the size of Pennsylvania. There is the value of an idea applied to real estate. That day will come, as it was to come when the Cape-to-Cairo Railway should pierce Africa and cities should be built, though there was some smart person who bought the land from the chief and received his everlasting gratitude, just as was the case with William Penn, who bought for $40 worth of stuff the area of Pennsylvania. He did a righteous thing. We have to be enthusiastic over it, because that was a thing that never happened before probably. There was the application of an idea to real estate. Every improvement that is put upon real estate is the result of an idea in somebody’s head. A skyscraper is another idea. The railway was another idea. The telephone and all those things are merely symbols which represent ideas. The washtub was the result of an idea. The thing hadn’t existed before. There is no property on this earth that does not derive pecuniary value from ideas and association of ideas applied and applied and applied again and again and again, as in the case of the steam engine. You have several hundred people contributing their ideas to the improvement and the final perfection of that great thing, whatever it is—telephone, telegraph, and all.”

So if I could have convinced that gentleman that a book which does consist solely of ideas, from the base to the summit, then that would have been the best argument in the world that it is property, like any other property, and should not be put under the ban of any restriction, but that it should be the property of that man and his heirs forever and ever, just as a butcher shop would be, or—I don’t care—anything, I don’t care what it is. It all has the same basis. The law should recognize the right of perpetuity in this and every other kind of property. But for this property I do not ask that at all. Fifty years from now I shall not be here. I am sorry, but I shall not be here. Still, I should like to see it.

Of course we have to move by slow stages. When a great event happens in this world, like that of 1714, [sic] under Queen Anne, it stops everything, but still, all the world imagines there was an element of justice in that act. They do not know why they imagine it, but it is because somebody else has said so. And that process must continue until our day, and keep constantly progressing on and on. First twenty-eight years was added, and then a renewal for fourteen years; and then you encountered Lord Macaulay, who made a speech on copyright when it was going to achieve a life of sixty years which reduced it to forty years—a speech that was read all over the world by everybody who does not know that Lord Macaulay did not know what he was talking about. So he inflicted this disaster upon his successors in the authorship of books. It has to undergo regular and slow development—evolution.

Here is this bill, one instance of it. Make the limit the author’s life and fifty years after, and, as I say, fifty years from now they will see that that has not convulsed the world at all. It has not destroyed any San Francisco. No earthquakes concealed in it anywhere. It has changed nobody. It has merely fed some starving author’s children. Mrs. Stowe’s [Harriet Beacher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin] two daughters were close neighbors of mine, and—well, they had their living very much limited…

I say again, as I said in the beginning, I have no enmities, no animosities toward this bill. This bill is plenty righteous enough for me. I like to see all these industries and arts propagated and encouraged by this bill. This bill will do that, and I do hope that it will pass and have no deleterious effect. I do seem to have an extraordinary interest in a whole lot of arts and things. The bill is full of those that I have nothing to do with. But that is in line with my generous, liberal nature. I can’t help it. I feel toward those same people the same sort of charity of the man who arrived at home at 2 o’clock in the morning from the club. He was feeling perfect satisfaction with life—was happy, was comfortable. There was his house weaving and weaving and weaving around. So he watched his chance, and by and by when the steps got in his neighborhood he made a jump and he climbed up on the portico. The house went on weaving. He watched his door, and when it came around his way he climbed through it. He got to the stairs, went up on all fours. The house was so unsteady he could hardly make his way, but at last he got up and put his foot down on the top step, but his toe hitched on that step, and of course he crumpled all down and rolled all the way down the stairs and fetched up at the bottom with his arm around the newel post, and he said, “God pity a poor sailor out at sea on a night like this.”

The committee adjourned until 10 o’clock a. m. to-morrow



Samuel Clemens gives a robust argument for perpetual copyright – for the idea that the book is the author’s, not by utilitarian privilege but by right – and he neatly flips today’s assumptions about term extension on their heads.  But he is also hilariously cynical, perhaps mindful of the fact that the legislators to whom his words are addressed might be familiar with his prior pronouncements about both them and the law they were considering. “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” “Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble.”  “Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.”  He is particularly pointed in attacking the compromises with which any copyright bill is loaded – the special provisions that gave American printers special rights to print the books (and thus the unions a strong barrier against foreign competition), that gave libraries certain privileges, indeed that allowed the expiration of copyright at all.  All these compromises, from his point of view, are simply takings from authors for the benefit of activities that have little or nothing to do with their art. He even waxes a little absurdist about it.  “Like all the trades and occupations of the United States, ours [that of the actual author] is represented and protected in that bill. I like it. I want them to be represented and protected and encouraged. They are all worthy, all important, and if we can take them under our wing by copyright, I would like to see it done. I should like to have you encourage oyster culture and anything else…. I do seem to have an extraordinary interest in a whole lot of arts and things. The bill is full of those that I have nothing to do with. But that is in line with my generous, liberal nature.”   The committee members, eager to shower other celebrities such as John Philip Sousa with questions, offered none after his remarks.  Clemens was an old lion – he speaks of his own awareness of mortality in his remarks, and he in fact had only four more years to live – but he still had teeth and his zingers might have ended up on the front page of the New York Times. And so after his remarks… the committee quietly adjourned.


1.)  Clemens has obviously read Macaulay.  On what do they disagree?

2.)  He argues that taking away his copyright is as unjust as the government taking away his mine after a certain period of time, saying he had already reaped enough benefit from it Do you agree?  What differences do you see?  How would Jefferson and Macaulay respond?  Would Hugo agree?

3.)  Clemens argues that there would be no real negative effects of term extension because he notes (correctly) that very, very few works retain any commercial value after 42 years.  He was arguing there for a “life plus fifty” system which did not in fact get enacted until 1976.  We now have a life plus seventy system.  Is he right that there have been no negative consequences?


CC Taiwan, July 19, 2014 01:11 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

CC0 (公眾領域貢獻宣告)是Creative Commons於2009年時推出的一項工具,他的設計是使創作者得以貢獻他們的作品成為公眾領域的內容,所憑藉的方式即是由權利人(即宣告者)放棄所有的著作權、著作鄰接權及相關的權利,亦即最大範圍的放棄法律所給予的權利。至於若該拋棄因任何理由而無效,則CC0會成為宣告者(使用CC0此一工具者)所為之准許公眾無條件、不可撤回、非專屬以及為人何目的而無償使用的授權。


Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain

James Boyle, July 18, 2014 10:50 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Jennifer Jenkins and I are frantically working to put together a new open casebook on Intellectual Property Law.  (It will be available, in beta version, this Fall under a CC license, and freely downloadable in multiple formats of course.  Plus it should sell in paper form for about $130 less than the competing casebooks. The accompanying statutory supplement will be 1/5  the price of most statutory supplements — also freely downloadable.)  More about that later.  While assembling the materials for a casebook, one gets to revisit the archives, reread the great writers.  Today I was revisiting Victor Hugo.  Hugo was a fabulous — inspiring, passionate — proponent of the rights of authors, and the connection of those rights to free expression and free ideas. He went beyond giving speeches to play a serious role in setting up the current international copyright system.  He is held out today as the ultimate proponent of the droits d’auteur — the person who said (and he did) that the author’s right was the most sacred form of property: unlike other property rights it impoverished no one, because it was over something that was entirely new.  (Think of Locke and his point that all property took from the common store.  Not so with copyright, said Hugo)  But Hugo was a more subtle fellow than that and his views are not what you may have been told they were.  I decided to translate his speech to the Congress of Literary, Industrial and Artistic Property in Paris in 1878.  (There’s probably a better translation out there — I just couldn’t find it.) And I was struck, as if for the first time, by what he said about the need to create a system that respected not just the rights of authors. but the public’s rights, the public’s ownership of the public domain.

Victor Hugo, guardian of the public domain and a proponent of the exact kind of right of the public to the public domain that Justice Ginsburg found so incomprehensible in Golan v. Holder.

Here is an excerpt.  For those of you impatient to cut to the chase, the bolded section at the end gives Hugo’s views on the public domain.  [NB: this is a free translation -- Hugo was a florid speaker.  I've tried to reproduce the force of his speech using italics and other forms of emphasis that are not in the original. And of course the bolded section is courtesy of me. Lector beware]

Excerpts from the speech of Victor Hugo to the Congress of Literary, Industrial and Artistic Property, Paris, 1878.  [Emphases added]

Literary property is of general utility.

All the old monarchical laws denied and still deny literary property. For what purpose?  For the purpose of control. The writer-owner is a free writer. To take his property, is to take away his independence. One wishes that it were not so. [That is the danger in] the remarkable fallacy, which would be childish if it were not so perfidious,  “thought belongs to everyone, so it cannot be property, so literary property does not exist.”  What a strange confusion!  First, to confuse the ability to think, which is general, with the thought, which is individual; my thought is me.  Then, to confuse thought, an abstract thing, with the book, a material thing. The thought of the writer, as thought, evades the grasping hand.   It flies from soul to soul; it has this gift and this force — virum volitare per ora — that it is everywhere on the lips of men.  But the book is distinct from the thought; as a book, it is “seizable,” so much so that it is sometimes “seized.” [impounded, censored, pirated.] (Laughter.)

The book, a product of printing,  belongs to industry and is the foundation, in all its forms, of a large commercial enterprise. It is  bought and sold; it is a form of property, a value created, uncompensated, a form of riches added by the writer to the national wealth.   Indeed, all must agree, this is the most compelling form of property.

Despotic governments violate this property right; they confiscate the book, hoping thus to confiscate the writer. Hence the system of royal pensions. [Pensions for writers, in the place of author’s rights] Take away everything and give back a pittance! This is the attempt to dispossess and to subjugate the writer. One steals, and then one buys back a fragment of what one has stolen. It is a wasted effort, however. The writer always escapes. We became poor, he remains free. (Applause) Who could buy these great minds, Rabelais, Molière, Pascal? But the attempt is nonetheless made ​, and the result is dismal. Monarchic patronage sucks at the vital forces of the nation. Historians give Kings the title the “father of the nation” and “fathers of letters;….. the result? These two sinister facts: people without bread, Corneille [the great French author] without shoes. (Long applause).
Gentlemen, let us return to the basic principle: respect for property. Create a system of literary property, but at the same time, create the public domain! Let us go further. Let us expand the idea.  The law could give to all publishers the right to publish any book after the death of the author, the only requirement would be to pay the direct heirs a very low fee, which in no case would exceed five or ten percent of the net profit. This simple system, which combines the unquestionable property of the writer with the equally incontestable right of the public domain was suggested by the 1836 commission [on the rights of authors]; and you can find this solution, with all its details, in the minutes of the board, then published by the Ministry of the Interior.

The principle is twofold, do not forget. The book, as a book, belongs to the author, but as a thought, it  belongs – the word is not too extreme – to the human race. All intelligences, all minds, are eligible, all own it. If one of these two rights, the right of the writer and the right of the human mind, were to be sacrificed, it would certainly be the right of the writer, because the public interest is our only concern, and that must take precedence in anything that comes before us.  [Numerous sounds of approval.]But, as I just said, this sacrifice is not necessary.

I am against the idea of a “paying public domain”  — but I will note that Hugo’s proposal is many ways more radical than any current orphan works legislation.  Not just in its details — replacing property rule with liability rule — but in its premises, which people often forget.  Yes, he was relying on the familiar idea-expression distinction, which no American lawyer would deny.  The author owns the expression.  The public gets free access to the idea.  And this is in fact one of the most brilliant parts of our copyright system.   But look more closely.  He was also firmly resting intellectual property on a public interest foundation and he was focused on  access to the public domain — to the actual expression, the books,  not just idea — front and center.  That is why he suggests the idea of any publisher being able to reprint any book.  Would that we had such a system for orphan works — even if not for works in the public domain.  Here, by contrast, is Justice Ginsburg who — we are told — comes from a society with a more moderate, balanced, and less absolute form of copyright…  She is writing the majority opinion in a case about taking works out of the public domain and putting them back under copyright.

As petitioners put it in this Court, Congress impermissibly revoked their right to exploit foreign works that “belonged to them” once the works were in the public domain.  To copyright lawyers, the “vested rights” formulation might sound exactly backwards: Rights typically vest at the outset of copyright protection, in an author or rightholder. See, e.g., 17 U.S.C. § 201(a) (“Copyright in a work protected . . . vests initially in the author. . . .”). Once the term of protection ends, the works do not revest in any rightholder. Instead, the works simply lapse into the public domain. See, e.g., Berne, Art. 18(1), 828 U.N.T.S., at 251 (“This Convention shall apply to all works which . . . have not yet fallen into the public domain. . . .”). Anyone has free access to the public domain, but no one, after the copyright term has expired, acquires ownership rights in the once-protected works.

But perhaps there are forms of public right other than ownership.  Hugo understood that point.  It is a shame we no longer do so. ” If one of these two rights, the right of the writer and the right of the human mind, were to be sacrificed, it would certainly be the right of the writer, because the public interest is our only concern, and that must take precedence in anything that comes before us.  [Numerous sounds of approval.]But, as I just said, this sacrifice is not necessary.”  But what of the cases — orphan works are only one example — where the author gets nothing, but the public is impoverished?

Back to writing the casebook!


School of Open’s CC4Kids at the Code4CT Maker Party

Creative Commons, July 18, 2014 08:12 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Code4CT girls with cc4kids certificates
Code4CT girls with cc4kids certificates / Kelsey Wiens / CC BY

#Code4CT is a three-week training program from Innovate South Africa with twenty-four grade 10 and 11 girls from Centre for Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha (Cape Town, South Africa). The three-week course consists of sessions on how the web works and actively participating in building web content. Running over the girls winter school break, they learn about the design process, HTML and CSS programming languages – skills they use to build WordPress sites for their clients. The girls then take their new skills and create mobile sites for local community organizations to benefit their communities.

We were lucky enough to be invited with Obami (learning platform) to test out the School of Open CC4Kids program. The program was funded through a Creative Commons Affiliate Project Grant. We have run the course through a self-study platform but this was the first time running it in real life. We were inspired by how quickly the girls took to the course content. The course’s modules focus on basics of Copyright and CC licenses – by the end of the hour, the girls were creating their own CC licensed material!

It was an inspiring day. A highlight of the day was the girls remixing the Pharrell Williams dance steps from “Happy” as a remix exercise Hack the Happy Dance. We are also attending their “pitch” sessions today to see what mobile apps they designed.

Thanks to Code4CT and Mozilla for the opportunity to be part of Maker Party! And stay tuned for more Maker Parties to be hosted by us and other CC/School of Open volunteers as part of the School of Open Africa Launch in August and September.

About Maker Party

School of Open and Creative Commons is excited to be partnering with Mozilla to celebrate teaching and learning the web with Maker Party. Through thousands of community-run events around the world, Maker Party unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic Internet users of all ages and skill levels.

We share Mozilla’s belief that the web is a global public resource that’s integral to modern life: it shapes how we learn, how we connect and how we communicate. But many of us don’t understand its basic mechanics or what it means to be a citizen of the web. That’s why we’re supporting this global effort to teach web literacy through hands-on learning and making with Maker Party.

About the School of Open


The School of Open is a global community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run online courses, offline workshops, and real world training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a peer learning community for developing and running free online courses.

European Commission endorses CC licenses as best practice for public sector content and data

Creative Commons, July 17, 2014 06:08 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.

The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).

In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.

This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.

Kudos to the Commission and the assistance provided by LAPSI, Open Knowledge, and others.

Michael Carroll to Congress: “Copyrights have to expire.”

Creative Commons, July 17, 2014 05:22 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

This week, Creative Commons US lead and CC board member Michael Carroll addressed the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. In his address, he emphasized that the success of Creative Commons tools doesn’t eliminate the need for copyright reform; it underscores it. He also laid out the case for why Congress should not extend copyright terms again.

Congress, copyrights have to expire. The constitution says so.

Congress’ power to grant the exclusive right to authors in their writings is for a limited time. That limited time currently lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. From an economic perspective, to promote the progress of science means to provide a sufficient incentive for both the creator and the investors in the creative process to make a fair return on that investment. Life plus 70 is far longer than necessary to achieve that goal.

Professor Carroll’s testimony begins at 1:30:

Professor Carroll asked Congress to consider a move to the way copyright law in the US functioned prior to the Copyright Act of 1976, which went into effect in 1978. The pre-1978 system offered creators an initial term of 28 years and an option to opt in to a second 28-year term. You can read Professor Carroll’s written testimony on the Creative Commons US blog.

Correction: This post previously referred to the Copyright Act of 1976 as the Copyright Act of 1978. The Act passed in 1976 and went into effect on January 1, 1978.

WikiProject Open Barn Raising this Saturday

Creative Commons, July 16, 2014 05:15 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

WikiProject Open is an online School of Open training program for new and seasoned Wikipedia volunteers to collaborate on improving Wikipedia articles related to openness. The aim of the project is two-fold: in addition to improving Wikipedia articles related to openness (such as open access publishing and open educational resources), volunteers seek to improve Wikimedia content generally with the aid of openly licensed materials.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-54440-0001 / CC BY-SA

This Saturday, WikiProject Open’s Pete Forsyth and Sara Frank Bristow invite you to join their Barn Raising event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time, at the Oakland Impact Hub on 2323 Broadway, Oakland, California. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. You can also join the event online. Sara says:

“At the Barn Raising, we will focus on high priority Wikipedia articles: articles that are widely read, but that — despite ongoing efforts — remain poorly sourced, incomplete, or out of date. (In the wiki world, we often borrow the term “Barn Raising” to evoke the idea of a community coming together to build something substantial in a short time. It’s been described as a way to “make the impossible possible.”)

This event is open to all! Our goal is to make significant improvements to OER related articles; so those who are brand new to Wikipedia and/or open education might want to take a little time to prepare. We will send out helpful resources for beginners as the date gets closer.”

Register here.
Visit the wiki page here.

And read more about School of Open training programs here!

About the School of Open


The School of Open is a global community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run online courses, offline workshops, and real world training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a peer learning community for developing and running free online courses.

CCUSA Public Lead Michael Carroll’s Congressional Testimony on “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term”

CC USA, July 15, 2014 02:07 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 United States

mc at carnegieMichael Carroll will testify today at 1:00 before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on the topic “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term.”  The full witness list for the hearing is available here.  The full text of Michael Carroll’s prepared statement (PDF) follows:

Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Nadler, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Michael Carroll, and I am a member of the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, where I direct the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and serve as the Public Lead for Creative Commons USA.  Creative Commons USA is the United States’ project that works under the terms of an agreement with Creative Commons, Inc., a global non-profit corporation headquartered in California.  Creative Commons has agreements with projects in more than 70 countries through which the local project is authorized to represent Creative Commons at the national level.  Creative Commons and Creative Commons USA have some experiences and legal tools that are relevant to the topics of today’s hearing.  Briefly, these are:

Creative Commons and Moral Rights

Creative Commons provides the public with a range of legal tools designed to promote the legal sharing and reuse of works of authorship.  Creative Commons offers six standardized copyright licenses that a copyright owner can choose to grant the public permission for royalty-free use subject to a range of conditions.  See and Appendix A.

These licenses are recognized as the global standard for sharing works and are used by Wikipedia, open access journal publishers, creators of open courseware and open educational resources, bloggers, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, and every other kind of creator imaginable.  There are at least 500 million copyrighted works available under one of these Creative Commons licenses.

Users of Creative Commons licenses require attribution in exchange for permission to use their works of authorship, and this license term overlaps the moral right of attribution. The licensor waivers the remainder of her moral rights to the extent allowed under national law.  Originally, the suite of Creative Commons licenses treated attribution as an optional term.  However, when data showed that more than 98% of license adopters opted for the attribution requirement, Creative Commons made attribution a required term of all six licenses.  Other conditions that can be imposed are restricting use to non-commercial use, requiring that any derivative works produced from the licensed work are licensed under the same terms (the “Share Alike” term), or that the work can be shared but not modified.  A more detailed explanation of these licenses is attached as Appendix A.

In the experience of Creative Commons, creators have a strong interest in receiving attribution for their work, and this interest in some cases is more important to the creator than any interest in profit or compensation.  If Congress were to consider creating an exclusive right of attribution, doing so would be more difficult than may appear at first glance.  A quick summary of the kinds of issues that have arisen in the Creative Commons experience include what is the threshold creative contribution that must be made to receive an attribution right, how should attribution be given for works created in iterative and group settings, and must the attributing party specify who contributed what elements of the work of authorship when giving attribution?  These issues suggest that as strong as the attribution interest is, proper attribution is a contextual matter.

Creative Commons and Copyright Term

Creative Commons also provides two tools directly related to the term of copyright.  One is the CC0 (pronounced CC Zero) tool that enables copyright owners to effectively shorten the term of protection for their work by dedicating their copyright to the public domain. See The other is the Public Domain Mark, which is just a label that enables members of the public to mark works as having the full range of reuse freedom that comes when a work enters the public domain. See

CC0 has been used in a number of contexts, such as by a repository of public domain clipart, by creators of scientific databases, and by public bodies in countries that extend copyright to government works.

Creative Commons and the Termination Right

Exercising the termination right is overly cumbersome and confusing to many authors and their heirs.  Creative Commons created and hosts an Internet based tool still in its beta version that provides those with a potential termination right a means of assessing whether and when they may exercise their termination rights.  See

Creative Commons did this to aid authors or heirs seeking to reclaim their copyrights for the purpose of sharing their works through a CC license.  In that regard, one obstacle is financial.  Even after an author or heir has run the administrative gantlet, termination is not effective until they pay the Copyright Office recordation fee of a minimum of $105 for one transaction and one title.  See U.S. Copyright Office, Calculating Fees for Recording Documents and Notices of Termination in the Copyright Office at While modest for economically valuable copyrights like those in a character such as Superman, this recordation fee is potentially cost prohibitive for scholars, journalists, or others who have created and published many copyrighted works that they would like to share with the public through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons USA recommends that the Subcommittee consider a measure that would waive the recordation fee in cases in which the terminating party seeks to reclaim copyright for the purposes of making the work of authorship freely available over the Internet under the terms of an open license.

With this background, I now turn to the issue of copyright term that I was invited to address.

The Term of Copyright Is Too Long

From the public’s perspective, copyright is a trade-off.  It provides incentives for investors to supply funds for creative endeavors and for some professional creators to create new works.  But, copyright restrains freedom of expression and serves as a tax on the cost of purchasing educational, entertainment, and related expressive works. As the English parliamentarian Thomas Macauley recognized long ago, lengthening the term of copyright is economically equivalent to passing a tax increase:  “The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers.”

Focusing on the economic effects of copyright, the issue of copyright term is a question of how long the public should have to pay the copyright tax for any given creative work.  The general economic principle is that the term should be no longer than necessary to induce enough creators and enough investors to devote their efforts to creating and distributing new works of authorship. Recognizing this trade-off, the Founders, when granting Congress the power to create copyright law, also required that copyrights expire. Congress has specific power to enact copyright law for the purpose of “promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts,” subject to the condition that the “exclusive right” that Congress gives to authors in their “writings” be only “for limited times.”  U.S. Const., art. I, § 8, cl. 8.

Under current law, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus another 70 years, or in the case of works made for hire, 120 years from the date of creation or 95 years from the date of publication.  As a group of leading economists, including five Nobel laureates, have shown this term is too long to serve copyright’s purposes because for all intents and purposes it is virtually equivalent to a perpetual term.  The proper time horizon for copyright is one that provides a meaningful incentive for creators and investors to create new works.  As these economists explained, profits that might be had many decades after an author is deceased are worth less than pennies on the dollar today and therefore cannot be said to be doing any work in promoting the progress of science and useful arts.

This is a problem.  There are three kinds of actions that Congress should consider to remedy this problem, or at least, not make it worse:

(1)    Shorten the term
(2)    Refuse to the lengthen the term any further
(3)    Require registration with the Copyright Office to enjoy the final 20 years of protection

A Shorter Term in the American Tradition

Ideally, Congress would reclaim the American tradition on copyright term and substantially reduce it, if the United States’ international copyright relations were not an issue. A good benchmark for doing so would be to consider reverting copyright term back to what it was prior enactment of the Copyright Act of 1976: an initial term of 28 years that could be renewed for another 28 years.

This policy had two beneficial features.  First, the term of protection was relatively easy to determine because it was based on a work’s date of publication. Second, the renewal requirement acted as a beneficial filter.  Works that retained economic value after the first 28 years of protection had their copyrights renewed.  Those that did not – and this was the majority of registered copyrighted works – were not renewed and went into the public domain.

However, our international copyright relations are a valid consideration that influences policy on copyright term. Congress lengthened the term in the 1976 Act with an eye toward one day joining the Berne Convention, a treaty of European origin reflecting the European model that, among other things, measured the term of protection by the life of the author plus 50 years. Joining the Berne Convention would confer some benefits on some American authors, but it would do so by imposing an increase in the copyright tax on the American public. Congress then passed a copyright tax increase in 1998 when it enacted the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, Tit. I, Pub. L. No. 105-298, 112 Stat. 2827 (Oct. 27, 1998), which extended the term of copyrights both prospectively and retrospectively for an additional 20 years.

Extending the term of existing copyrights was the basis for a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court on the basis that doing so violated the free speech rights of the public and violated the principles of limited government because the Constitution authorizes Congress to grant copyrights only for “limited times,” and retrospective extensions of term are a means of granting, in the words of my colleague Peter Jaszi, a perpetual term “on the installment plan.” Over two vigorous dissents, the Court rejected this argument, deciding that Congress had the power to extend copyright’s term. Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003).

No More Extensions

At a minimum, Congress should not lengthen the term of copyright any further.  The Court in Eldred posed the constitutional question as whether Congress had a rational basis for extending the term of copyright for an additional 20 years.  But even a rational basis does not make term extension good policy.  For all of the reasons expressed in Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion in Eldred, 537 U.S. at 242, which I hereby incorporate by reference, extending the term of copyright imposes a series of harms on the public that are not justified by any offsetting benefits.

Specifically, there is no incentive based support for term extension. See Eldred, 537 U.S. at 256-57 (Breyer, J., dissenting). Term extension did not provide the claimed benefits of uniformity, and going forward this argument would be without basis because we already have acquiesced in the European version of copyright term. And, arguments about longer lifespans actually undermine the case for any term extension rather than supporting it.  See id. at 263.

I should also note that the public has become much more aware of the costs of overly long copyrights than it was in 1998. The problem of orphan works has become exacerbated, and it frustrates the ability of those who would make older copyrighted works available over the Internet to do so. Were Congress to entertain proposals to extend the term of copyright, it should expect vigorous opposition. As evidence, consider the open letter that opposes the United States’ proposal to include in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement a term requiring all parties to extend their terms to life + 70.  The letter was signed six days ago on July 9, 2014, by a broad coalition of creators and users of copyrighted works organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that was sent to negotiators working on the See

A Middle Ground – the Public Domain Enhancement Act

As a middle ground between the American tradition of fixed copyright terms, and the European model of life of the author plus a number of years, I would support the reintroduction of the Public Domain Enhancement Act. First co-sponsored by Representative Lofgren and Doolittle in 2003, H.R. 2601, 108th Cong., and then reintroduced in 2005, H.R. 2408, 109th Cong., the bill in its last form would have required that for works first published in the United States, after the term of the life of the author plus 50 years had passed, the copyright owner seeking the next 10 years of protection up to the maximum term would have to renew the copyright by paying $1 and filing the requisite paperwork with the U.S. Copyright Office. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante spoke in favor of this proposal when she testified before this Subcommittee. This proposal complies with the United States’ international obligations while also addressing the costs of an overly long copyright term by asking copyright owners to signal that they still value copyright protection by renewing it at a more than reasonable cost.


CC Taiwan, July 14, 2014 03:53 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

在7月10日的炎熱下午,由台灣創用CC計畫、網絡行動科技有限公司和BOOKSHOW 說書會聯合舉辦的「公眾領域實務座談與展示會」熱鬧舉行,由台灣創用CC計畫主持人莊庭瑞先生主持,邀請法國CNRS 研究員 Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay 博士及多位各領域學者專家淺談公眾領域和著作權法間之關係、在文化發展中扮演的角色和各領域實務運用上的經驗或困難,並在會後與參加民眾進行小型交流。

  • 上半場:座談會


Still rambling (probably) but no more a librarian

Ivan Chew, July 13, 2014 09:39 AM   License: Attribution 3.0 Singapore

Hello World.

Today's my last official day as a librarian. Today, 15 March 2014, is exactly 17 years and 5 months since I started work at the National Library Board.

Slightly more than a year back, I reviewed where I was and where/ what I could be going/ doing. The conclusion was that the conditions (personal, external and so on) were right for me to pursue the creative side of things. Fulfilling a childhood ambition, perhaps.

In August last year, I started a modest little media studio with a friend (email me and ask me about it). I've moved from being a librarian to being an entrepreneur. Behind the initial sense of excitement of starting something new, there's a quiet anxiousness of not knowing how things will turn out. I take heart in the support of friends, colleagues and family. I've considered possible success and failure, and concluded that the only real failure is to not try at all.

You could say my Project 365 Sketches was a pre-cursor to my career change, though I've been making music and art for a long time now. The difference is that I hope to do it as paid work.

I started as a Assistant Librarian and left as an Assistant Director. It's quite fitting, the "Assistant" designation. It's an oversimplification, but I'd sum up librarianship as a role that ultimately assists people in their search for connections -- connections to information, ideas and to some extent, people (authors, like-minded readers etc).

In truth, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about library work, library technologies or library management. If anything, I was merely the first Singaporean librarian, who used my real name, and blogged a little about what went on in the library (but even that was largely public programming).

For the folks who have left comments at this blog, or exchanged emails with me as as a librarian, I sincerely thank you all. Blogging has opened new vistas for me. We've largely forgotten why blogging was such a big deal then (leaving "comments" on a website was not the norm). Almost 10 years ago, Blogging had a bad name in Singapore (go search the newspaper archives). Later, people attended talks to understand what was a Blog. I remember a participant asking me (at the very first public talk I gave), after she said she understood what a Blog was, how one "crossed the line" to become a blogger. Those were pretty interesting times.

Will I start another blog? Probably not. Or not yet anyway. I remember telling the journalist, in a 2006 interview, that I'll blog only if I have something meaningful to say.


All stories must come to an end, eventually.

I'm still contactable via ramblinglibrarian [ at ] gmail.

Keep Reading. Keep Learning.

Przegląd linków CC #140

CC Poland, July 12, 2014 05:15 PM   License: Uznanie autorstwa 2.5 Polska

140 linki publikujemy w wersji za dwa tygodnie, z rozbudowanym działem naukowym współprowadzonym z serwisem Uwolnij Naukę.

Cooper Hewit

Otwarta edukacja i kultura

1. Kilka dni temu odbył się doroczny zjazd Koalicji Otwartej Edukacji, poświęcony dalszym planom oraz dyskusji nad stanem otwartej edukacji i nauki w Polsce. Grzegorz Stunża na łamach Edukatora Medialnego rozwija wątki z tych dyskusji, zwłaszcza na temat rządowego darmowego podręcznika i tego czy może on przyczynić się do głębszych zmian w systemie edukacji. Polecamy lekturę.

2. Jan L. Neumann, koordynator projektów pracujący dla UNESCO na swoim blogu rozpisał dość szczegółowe czym są polityki otwartości i jakie ich modele można wyróżnić. Ważną rolę wg. Neumanna w skutecznych implementacjach pełni uwzględnianie warunków i zmian kulturowych, w które polityka ingeruje i które ma zmieniać.

3. Dobrym uzupełnieniem tekstów Neumanna i Stunży może być post na Ed Techie (Martin Weller) o modelu budowania zaangażowania w otwarte zasoby edukacyjne. Weller wyróżnia poziomy użytkowników otwartych zasobów w edukacji i to jakie są ich możliwości zaangażowania i wspierania otwartości (przez aktywne wykorzystywanie i przetwarzanie zasobów).

4. Creative Commons opublikowało swój doroczny raport o działalności i stanie ruchu otwartości na świecie pt. The Future is Open.

5. Mimi Ito na łamach Boing Boing pisze krytycznie o aktualnej edukacji w sieci jako pogłębiającej podziały społeczne, mimo pozornej otwartości na osoby uczestniczące. Alternatywą, którą Mimi  Itowraz ze współpracownikami oferuje to kursy letnie online konstruowane z myślą o uczniach, którzy nie wzięliby udziału np. w popularnych MOOC’ach. Projekt integruje nauczanie z animacją i wsparciem udzielanym przez lokalne biblioteki.

6. Chińska firma IT Huawei oraz jeden z większych i starszych portali otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych Curriki ogłosiły współpracę nad stworzeniem OZE z zakresu funkcji matematycznych, rachunku różniczkowego i innych.

7. Jeśli czasem szukacie bardzo konkretnych argumentów za wykorzystywaniem licencji Creative Commons w Waszej pracy i tak się składa, że jesteście archeologami/żkami to proszę, post właśnie dla Was na blogu Middle Savagery.

8. Departament Edukacji USA przeprowadzi badania efektywności nauczania w modelu odwróconej lekcji z wykorzystaniem Khan Academy.

9. Jaką rolę maję i będą mieć otwarte zasoby edukacyjne w środowisku edukacyjnym kształtowanym przez popularyzację tzw. MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)? Czy MOOC-i będą wypierać OZE czy raczej uda się je skutecznie integrować? O tych problemach pisze OER Research Hub.

Otwarta nauka

10. Mark Hahnel pisze w „Educause Review” o znaczeniu otwartego udostępniania danych badawczych. Hahnel nawiązuje do idei „open data” wdrażanej przez różne państwa w stosunku do danych publicznych. I dowodzi, że coraz częściej dane są wymieniane wraz z artykułami naukowymi jako wyniki badań, które powinny podlegać otwartemu udostępnieniu. Pilotaż otwartego dostępu do danych badawczych został uruchomiony w ramach unijnego programu Horyzont 2020.

11. Do idei otwartych danych nawiązuje też tekst Susanny-Assunty Sansone na blogu „Impact of Research Hub”. Sansone opisuje nowe rodzaje publikacji naukowej – data paper i data descriptor, służący publikowaniu danych w sposób przejrzysty i podlegający peer review.

12. Koalicja bibliotek naukowych SPARC przyznała swoją doroczną Innovator Award. Otrzymała ją organizacja Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), działający na rzecz „wiedzy bez barier”. Gratulujemy EIFL, która także w Polsce wspiera działania na rzecz otwartego dostępu.

13. I wreszcie. Inicjatywa Otwieracz opublikowała wyniki badania „Nowe technologie i prawo autorskie w ISNS UW”. W badaniu zapytano studentów, doktorantów i wykładowców ISNS, co sądzą o wolnym dostępie do nauki – czy sami z niego korzystają i czy się do niego przyczyniają udostępniając swoje prace naukowe. Ekipę Inicjatywy zachęcamy do udostępnienia również surowych danych!

14. The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) opublikowało własny zestaw licencji dla otwartego dostępu (open access). Dlaczego to bardzo zły pomysł, niekompatybilny z Open Definition oraz dodatkowo potęgujący rozproszenie licencji i więcej trudności dla użytkowników pisze Andrés Guadamuz.

Otwarte zasoby

15. Cooper Hewitt, muzeum wzornictwa Smithsonian Institute w Nowym Jorku podczas odświeżania swojej identyfikacji wizualnej logo postanowiło nowo-zaprojektowaną przez Cherstera Jenkinsa czcionkę udostępnić na otwartej licencji oraz jako otwarte pliki wektorowe UFO (Universal Font Object). Więcej o tym dlaczego tak zrobili w magazynie Quartz.

16. Nie tylko na wolnej licencji (CC BY-SA 4.0), ale również w duchu open source (tekst dostępny jest na platformie github) został opublikowany The Digital First Aid Kit (Zestaw Pierwszej Pomocy Cyfrowej), poradnik który ma pomagać aktywistom, dziennikarzom i obrońcom praw człowieka w radzeniu sobie ze współczesnymi zagrożeniami takimi jak przejęcie kont lub urządzeń z ważnymi danymi.

17. Electronic Frontier Foundation przekazało do domeny publicznej zdjęcie lotnicze ogromnego data center narodowej agencji bezpieczeństwa (NSA) w Utah.


18. Nadal silnie utajniane negocjacje TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) nie przynoszą dobrych wiadomości na temat prawa autorskiego. W ramach przecieków z negocjacji oraz wielu działań podejmowanych przez organizacje takiej jak EFF, które starają się przekazać negocjatorom informację o ryzykach jakie TPP niesie ze sobą, wiemy o propozycjach przedłużenia ochrony utworów oraz przeniesienia na dostawców internetowych uprawnień policyjnych w kwestii ścigania naruszeń IP.

19. Dziś (12 lipca) w Wielkiej Brytanii (ale oczywiście można przyłączyć się internetowo na całym świecie) do akcji #noTTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negocjowanego właśnie między USA a Unią Europejską. TTIP, uzupełnienie porozumienia TPP oskarżane jest o próbę ograniczania praw konsumenckich i zaostrzania prawa autorskiego.

CC Signs Bouchout Declaration for Open Biodiversity

Creative Commons, July 11, 2014 02:18 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Bouchout CC stampCC is supporting the Bouchout Declration for Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management by becoming a signatory. The Declaration’s objective is to help make biodiversity data openly available to everyone around the world. It offers the biodiversity community a way to demonstrate their commitment to open science, one of the fundamental components of CC’s vision for an open and participatory internet.

In April 2013 CC participated in a workshop on Names attribution, rights, and licensing convened by the Global Names Project which led to a report titled Scientific names of organisms: attribution, rights, and licensing that concluded:

“There are no copyright impediments to the sharing of names and related data. The system must reward those who make the contributions upon which we rely. Building an attribution system remains one of the more urgent challenges that we need to address together.”

Many of the attendees of the workshop and of the report cited above are among those who met in June in Meise, Belgium and released the Bouchout Declaration.

Donat Agosti Bouchout Declaration

Donat Agosti introducing the Bouchout Declaration at the OpenDataWeek, RMLL, Miontpellier, France, July 11, 2014. Photo by P. Kishor released under CC0 Public Domain Dedication

The declaration calls for free and open use of digital resources about biodiversity and associated access services and exhorts the use of licenses or waivers that grant or allow all users a free, irrevocable, world-wide, right to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly as well as to build on the work and to make derivative works, subject to proper attribution consistent with community practices, while recognizing that providers may develop commercial products with more restrictive licensing. This is not only aligned with the vision of CC itself, CC is also the creator and steward of the legal and technical infrastructure that allows open licensing of content.

Phylogeny viewer

Screenshot of phylogeny from PhyLoTA as displayed in BioNames. The user can zoom in and out and pan, as well as change the layout of the tree from BioNames: linking taxonomy, texts, and trees by Roderick D. M. Page used under a CC BY License.

The declaration also promotes Tracking the use of identifiers in links and citations to ensure that sources and suppliers of data are assigned credit for their contributions and Persistent identifiers for data objects and physical objects such as specimens, images and taxonomic treatments with standard mechanisms to take users directly to content and data. CC has participated from the beginning in the activities that led to the Joint Declaration of the Data Citation Principles and that promotes the use of persistent identifiers to allow discovery and attribution of resources.

Finally, the declaration calls for Policy developments that will foster free and open access to biodiversity data. CC works assiduously on creating, fostering, nurturing and assisting in the promulgation of open policies and practices that advance the public good by supporting open policy advocates, organizations and policy makers.

We have a few concerns: most copyright laws around the world treat data as not protected by copyright, thus would not require licensing. We are also aware that some cultures wish to preserve and protect traditional knowledge, so we want to make sure information is released by only those who have the right to do so without impinging on the rights of such segments that might otherwise be negatively affected by its release. However, overall we believe that open biodiversity information is crucial for science and society. Mancos in the App Store Be it heralding the Seeds of Change, participating in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), or assisting the Paleobiology Database to move to CC BY license, CC is playing a vital role in the progress of open science in the areas of biodiversity and natural resources. CC has committed to assisting organizations joining Google in the White House Climate Data Initiative. On a personal front I have released the entire codebase of Earth-Base under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication making possible applications such as Mancos on the iOS App Store.


Bouchout Signatories. Image by Plazi released under a CC0 Public Domain Dedication

Most of the world’s biodiversity is in developing countries, and ironically, most of biodiversity information and collections are in developed countries. Agosti calls this, “Biopiracy: taking biodiversity material from the developing world for profit, without sharing benefit or providing the people who live there with access to this crucial information.” (Agosti, D. 2006. Biodiversity data are out of local taxonomists’ reach. Nature 439, 392) Opening up the data will benefit the developing counties by giving them free and easy access to information about their own biological riches. Friction-free access to and reuse of data, software and APIs is essential to answering pressing questions about biodiversity and furthering the move to better understanding and stewarding our planet and its resources. Signing the Bouchout Declaration strengthens this movement.

CC Welcomes New Teams in India, Mongolia and Bangladesh

Creative Commons, July 10, 2014 02:06 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

CC is very proud to announce three additions to its Asia-Pacific community – two new affiliate teams in Mongolia and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and a revitalised team in the Republic of India. This boosts our Asia-Pacific community to 16 members and adds a great deal of valuable expertise to our affiliate network.

Rajshahi / Bangladesh / 2012

Rakib Hasan Sumon / CC BY

The first of these new groups to join us was CC India, which had its re-launch in November 2013. CC has had affiliate representation in India previously; however, the new team represents a substantial expansion of our Indian community following many years of networking and outreach by key people locally and internationally. It brings together three groups each of whom are already lead advocates for open culture and its benefits in India – the Centre for Internet and Society, based in Bangalore, will be be providing legal expertise; Acharya Narendra Dev College, who will take the lead in Open Education Resources; and Wikimedia India, who will focus on social outreach and community development. Each group contributes its own lead to help manage the governance of the team – Dr. Savithri Singh (Public Lead, Acharya Narendra Dev College), Sowmyan Tirumurti (Public Lead, Wikimedia India), Pranav Curumsey (Public Lead, Wikimedia India), Pranesh Prakash (Legal Lead, The Centre for Internet & Society). This new team has achieved a great deal over the past year, including workshops, translations and a collaborative competition for their own logo.

Mongolia - Mongolei

alles-schlumpf / CC BY-NC-SA

The next to arrive on the scene was CC Mongolia. Based out of the New Policy Institute’s DREAM IT and the Open Network for Education, ONE Mongolia, this team began to self-organise through a series of seminars designed to spur open culture in Mongolia, including a workshop lead by CC’s then Regional Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific, Chiaki Hayashi. Spurred by the energy from these events, as well as the success of the 2012 UNESCO OER Declaration, a team formalised late last year with leads drawn from across several organisations: Mr.Z.Batbold (Executive Director, New Policy Institute), Dr.D.Enkhbat (Public Lead), Ms.D.Nergui (Legal Lead), Ms.Baasansuren Burmaa (Technology Lead), and Dr. N.Norjhorloo (Community building in civil society). Following on from the founding workshops, they have begun their first project releasing open material through ONE Academy.


Nasir Khan / CC BY-SA

Last but not least, the very newest members of the CC family are CC Bangladesh. Once again, this team grew out of an enthusiastic group of people who were already working to encourage the adoption of open principles in Bangladesh, in this case the Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN), which has been operating locally since 2005. The team will be led by Nasir Khan Saikat (Public Lead) and Munir Hasan (Lead, (BdOSN). Their goal is to create a broad organization where the open source and open content communities can exchange ideas and embark on new initiatives designed to raise awareness and encourage people to share information and resources.

Both CC Mongolia and CC Bangladesh plan to hold formal launch events later this year.

We welcome these new members of our community, and will seek to assist them in any way we can to achieve their goals. We look forward to great things from these already very active and experienced teams. Welcome to the family!

Edit Oakland wiki events

Mike Linksvayer, July 09, 2014 07:27 PM   License: CC0 1.0 Universal

Saturday, July 12, there’s a big open streets event in my obscure flats neighborhood where Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley meet. A small stretch of San Pablo Avenue will be closed to cars (sadly not only human-driven cars, which would momentarily meet my suggestion). E’ville Eye has a comprehensive post about the event and its origins.

There will be an Oakland Urban Paths walk in the neighborhood during the event, during which obscurities will be related. Usually these walks are in locations with more obvious scenery (hills/stairs) and historical landmarks; I’m looking forward to seeing how they address Golden Gate. Last month they walked between West Oakland and downtown, a historic and potentially beautiful route that currently crosses 980 twice — edit it out!

Monday, July 14 18:00-19:30 there’s a follow-on event at the Golden Gate Branch Library — an OaklandWiki edit party. I haven’t edited Oakland Wiki much yet, but I like the concept. It is one of many LocalWikis, which relative to MediaWiki and Wikipedia have very few features or rules. This ought greatly lower the barrier to many more people contributing information pertinent to their local situation; perhaps someone is researching that? I’ve used the OaklandWiki to look up sources for Wikipedia articles related to Oakland and have noticed several free images uploaded to OaklandWiki that would be useful on Wikipedia.

Saturday, July 19 11:00-16:00 there’s a Wikipedia edit event at Impact Hub in Oakland and online: WikiProject Open Barn Raising 2014 which aims to improve Wikipedia articles about open education — a very broad and somewhat recursive (Wikipedia is an “open educational resource”, though singular doesn’t do it justice, unless perhaps made singular the open educational resource, but that would be an overstatement). If you’re interested in OER, Open Access, open policy and related tools and organizations, or would like to learn about those things and about editing Wikipedia, please participate!

Tangentially, OpenHatch (my endorsement) got a nice writeup of its Open Source Comes to Campus events at WIRED. I view these as conceptually similar to introduction to Wiki[pedia] editing events — all aim to create a welcoming space for newcomers to dive into participating in commons-based peer production — good for learning, careers, communities, and society.

5 τρόποι για να προμηθευτείτε δωρεάν εικόνες

CC Greece, July 09, 2014 05:37 PM   License: Αναφορά Δημιουργού 3.0 Ελλάδα

Το να κλέβεις είναι παράνομο, αλλά μερικές εικόνες είναι νόμιμα ελεύθερες για να τις χρησιμοποιήσεις χωρίς κάποιο κόστος. Σε αυτό το άρθρο προτείνονται πέντε τρόποι να αναζητήσετε φωτογραφίες, που είναι ελεύθερα διαθέσιμες.

1) Google

Επειδή υπάρχουν εικόνες στην αναζήτηση της google δεν σημαίνει πως είναι όλες ελεύθερες προς χρήση. Ωστόσο, η google πρόσφατα πρόσθεσε μια καρτέλα στα εργαλεία αναζήτησης για τα δικαιώματα χρήσης, όπου με αυτό τον τρόπο μπορείτε να φιλτράρετε τις εικόνες και να ανακαλύψετε εάν είναι διαθέσιμες με άδειες creative commons. Επίσης χρήσιμο είναι και το Search Creative Commons. Αυτό το εργαλείο σας εξυπηρετεί να βρείτε φωτογραφίες στο Google Images, Flickr, Fotopedia, και Open Clip Art Library με άδειες creative commons.

Να είστε προσεκτικοί διότι υπάρχουν διαφορετικές άδειες creative commons και μπορεί χωρίς να θέλετε να παραβιάσετε πνευματικά δικαιώματα. Για παράδειγμα πολλές άδειες προσδιορίζουν τη μη εμπορική χρήση. Έτσι, διαβάστε τους όρους και τις προϋποθέσεις πολύ προσεκτικά για να βεβαιωθείτε ότι έχετε τη δυνατότητα να χρησιμοποιήσετε την εικόνα.

2) Flickr

Οι περισσότερες φωτογρφίες στο Flickr έχουν πνευματικά δικαιώματα, αλλά όχι όλες. Με τη βοήθεια ενός προηγμένου εργαλείου αναζήτησης μπορείτε να βρείτε φωτογραφίες εκδηλώσεων, τοπίων ή προσωπικοτήτων από χρήστες που είναι πρόθυμοι να σας επιτρέψουν να τις χρησιμοποιήσετε με αντάλλαγμα την αναφορά στο δημιουργό. Όπως όμως αναφέρθηκε και παραπάνω διαβάστε προσεκτικά την άδεια με την οποία διατίθεται.

3) Free stock-photo websites

To Stock.xchnge, που τώρα ανήκει στο Getty Images, είναι μια δημοφιλής ιστοσελίδα με περίπου 400.000 φωτογραφίες από ερασιτέχνες φωτογράφους σε όλο τον κόσμο. Όπως πάντα, δεν είναι όλες οι φωτογραφίες Creative Commons, οπότε βεβαιωθείτε ότι το έχετε ελέγξει.

Το Morguefile και το Stockvault  είναι άλλα παρόμοια μέσα, αν και το Stockvault επιτρέπει μόνο τις εικόνες που χρησιμοποιούνται για μη επαγγελματικούς σκοπούς.

Το Free Digital Photos είναι μια καλή πηγή για επιχειρήσεις και για προσωπική και εκπαιδευτική χρήση. Και πάλι, δεν είναι όλες οι εικόνες δωρεάν.

4) CD και βιβλία χωρίς πνευματικά δικαιώματα

Υπάρχει πληθώρα εικόνων από βιβλία και cd οι οποίες είναι ελεύθερες δικαιωμάτων. Το βιβλιοπωλείο Dover Books είναι ένα εξαιρετικό μέρος για τέτοια βιβλία.

Αυτά τα βιβλία περιέχουν οποιασδήποτε μορφής εικόνων από παλίες ιατρικές εικόνες έως Βικτοριανές γκραβούρες. Επίσης είναι μια καλή πηγή για σχέδια και διανύσματα.

5) Ρώτα ανθρώπους

Εξακολουθείτε να αγωνίζεστε για να βρείτε τη σωστή φωτογραφία; Μπορείτε να κάνετε ότι οι αίθουσες ειδήσεων εδώ και χρόνια, να ζητήσετε από το κοινό. Τόσο το BBC όσο και η Guardian έχουν τμήματα στην ιστοσελίδα τους που προβάλουν φωτογραφίες από  αναγνώστες τους.

Ρωτήστε τους ακόλουθους σας στο Twitter. Ρωτήστε τους φίλους σας στο Facebook.

Μία μικρή προειδοποίηση: Χρησιμοποιείστε μια αντίστροφη εικόνα μηχανής αναζήτησης όπως το TinEye για να βεβαιωθείτε ότι δεν διακινείτε κλοπιμαία.


An Open Letter to TPP Negotiators: Copyright Term Extension Makes No Sense

Creative Commons, July 09, 2014 04:59 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Today, Creative Commons and over 35 other organizations published an open letter urging negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to rescind a proposal to extend copyright terms by another 20 years beyond its current, mandatory term.

This week, 12 Pacific rim countries are meeting in Ottawa, Canada, to continue secret negotiations of the widely criticized TPP trade agreement. Under the current TRIPS agreement, signatories are required to enact legislation granting copyright protection to individuals for the life of the author plus another 50 years. TPP negotiators, under the influence of large rights-holding companies, want to add another 20 years to the minimum copyright term.

If adopted, this extension would work to keep creative works out of the public domain for decades beyond the current term. It’s essentially a double-life sentence for all new works. This would be an incredible loss for the commons.

All creativity and knowledge owes something to what came before it – every creator builds on the ideas of their predecessors. Copyright is a limited right that is given to creators, but it also has a term limit to ensure we all benefit from culture and knowledge. Both the rights granted to creators and rights afforded to the public are necessary for a vibrant culture and the proliferation of knowledge. And the “Commons” in Creative Commons starts with the public domain. It’s the original corpus for remix. It’s why we’ve developed tools to better mark and dedicate content to the public domain. Together with hundreds of millions of works whose creators have chosen to share under generous terms of reuse with CC licenses, the commons is growing richer everyday.

Extending the term of copyright will undermine the potential of the public commons and needlessly limit the potential for new creativity. There is no logical reason to increase the term of copyright – an extension would create a tiny private benefit at a great cost to all of us. Most people agree that the existing term already lasts far past the amount of time required to incentivize creation (the original purpose of copyright) by granting creators a limited monopoly over a creative work. Copyright should strike a balance, giving an incentive to create while also giving the public permission to use and build on that creativity. In 2002, CC co-founder Lawrence Lessig argued against an additional 20 years of copyright protection in Eldred v. Ashcroft. Even Milton Friedman opposed the copyright term extension, calling it a “no-brainer.” Nearly all contemporary economists agree.

Increasing the term of copyright protection harms the commons. Any public policy that will further delay their entry into the public domain is contrary to the values we support – realizing the full potential of the Internet through universal access to the creativity that promotes active participation in culture and society.

Participating countries should should reject any measure in the Trans-Pacific Partnership introduced to increase the term of copyright protection. And TPP negotiations should be held in public and with the input of a broad set of stakeholders that include civil society and public interest representatives.

Although the letter has been presented to TPP negotiators today, they will remain open for further signatories to express their support. Interested organizations can endorse the letter here. Everyone can speak out by signing the petition at

3 juegos de mesa licenciados con Creative Commons

CC Chile, July 09, 2014 12:12 AM   License: Atribución-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 2.0 Chile


Cuando hablamos de obras Creative Commons, normalmente nos referimos a música, imágenes y video. Pero evidentemente hay mucho más que eso. Hoy te presentamos algunos juegos de mesa que puedes descargar de forma gratuita, compartir con tus amigos y, si las reglas no te satisfacen o crees que puedes mejorarlas, modificar a tu antojo.

Zombie in my pocket: es un juego creado por Jeremiah Lee, donde debes cumplir una serie de pruebas para vencer a los zombies que amenazan con convertirte en uno de ellos. Pensado para un solo jugador, cada partida toma entre cinco y 15 minutos.

Zombie in my pocket tiene una licencia Creative Commons BY – NC – SA. Haciendo clic acá encontrarás todo lo necesario para jugar. Existen distintas versiones y adaptaciones que puedes revisar acá, mientras que acá encuentras una versión en español.

Cards against humanity: popular juego de cartas creado por un grupo de escolares estadounidenses, que se jacta de su humor políticamente incorrecto, lo que evidentemente levanta suspicacias sobre el juego, pero se supone que es muy divertido.

Las reglas son flexibles y están pensadas para ser cambiadas, pero, básicamente, el juego consiste en dar respuesta a preguntas extraídas de un mazo de cartas negras, con un mazo de cartas blancas.

Cards against humanity está licenciado bajo Creative Commons BY-SA y se puede descargar acá. Existen varias versiones en español, una de ellas la puedes descargar acá.

Sovereign: Es un complejo juego de estrategia, donde los jugadores deberán recolectar siete tarjetas para ganar, a través de la expansión de ciudades, la creación de unidades y la investigación de tecnologías.

El juego involucra mapas (sí, en plural) cartas, dados de 12 caras y tiene versiones especiales para 2, 3, 4 y 6 jugadores, que puedes descargar acá, todo licenciado bajo Creative Commons BY – SA.

Puedes encontrar más juegos de mesa Creative Commons y Open Source acá.